Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama to Uneasy Democrats: Please Walk the Plank for Me But If It Doesn't Work Out Here's Plan B

The President and the Democratic leadership have been pushing hard on the idea that the Democrats should ram their unpopular health care bill through by using reconciliation--no matter how many Democrats in swing districts lose their jobs over it this November.

But Laura Meckler had an important story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that is bound to give many of the nervous moderate Democrats some real insecurity about walking that plank for their leader:
President Barack Obama will use a bipartisan summit Thursday to push for sweeping health-care legislation, but if that fails to generate enough support the White House has prepared the outlines of a more modest plan.

His leading alternate approach would provide health insurance to perhaps 15 million Americans, about half what the comprehensive bill would cover, according to two people familiar with the planning.

It would do that by requiring insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents' health plans, and by modestly expanding two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, one person said. The cost to the federal government would be about one-fourth the price tag for the broader effort, which the White House has said would cost about $950 billion over 10 years.

Officials cautioned that no final decisions had been made but said the smaller plan's outlines are in place in case the larger plan fails.
So much for all of this confidence they have the votes to pass their big health care bill.
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